This 'cloud storage' thing is going to get seriously big in 2017

Microsoft embiggens cloudy BLOBs from 195GB to 4.77 TB, blocks from 4MB to 100MB

The waistline of Azure's storage service continues to expand, with Microsoft upping the size of the Binary Large Objects it can define.

Redmond's cloud can now support BLOBs of 4.77 terabytes, up from the previous 195 gigabytes. Block sizes are also up, from four megabytes to 100. And you can commit 50,000 blocks to a single Blob.

Microsoft says the changes will help users handle “storing and processing 4K and 8K videos to cancer researchers sequencing DNA.”

Whatever they're used for, Microsoft wouldn't be doing this if it didn't see demand for cloud use at this scale. And why wouldn't it see that demand? Building rigs to handle workloads like those described above costs plenty. The cloud's a natural for this kind of stuff.

For those of you wondering just how long it would take to get 195GB into Azure, never mind 4.77TB, Microsoft has news on that front too as it has tweaked its data import/export service. It's now available in Azure's Canada, US Gov and China regions, and has added the ability to handle 2.5” Internal SATA drives and internal SSD drives.

2.5” drives can't yet match the scale of the 12TB and 14TB behemoths the disk industry offers in the 3.5” form factor, but the addition of SSDs should at least speed up the transfer of data in and out of Redmond's cloud. ®

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